2 Minutes With ... Alejandro Di Trolio, ECD & European Chairman at Cheil Worldwide

On perseverance

Alejandro has worked across Latin America and European for 18 years. He has extensive experience at independent and global agencies in both regions. His portfolio includes Samsung, Ikea, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Amazon, Volkswagen, Domino's Pizza, and Red Bull.

He current leads efforts spanning some dozen countries at Cheil, focusing on digital creativity and innovation.

We spent two minutes with Alejandro to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Alejandro, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up between Venezuela and Italy—my family is a mix of both continents. Now I live in Madrid, where I have put down roots for two decades.

How you first got interested in health.

I have always been interested in creativity that goes beyond the simple message, that which generates real change in society. When I arrived at Cheil and started working with Samsung, I realized how linking the world of health to technology allowed us to provide answers where we'd only focused on awareness before. Since then, I have seen the health category evolve, offering a world of opportunities for brands—pharma or otherwise—to provide answers and smash barriers.

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on.

"The Battle Inside"

The idea was to raise awareness about leukemia among Gen Z, a generation for whom disease awareness via traditional advertising was absolutely invisible. But video games hold their attention. In 2020, we decided to modify one of the best-selling titles of the year, Doom Eternal, and turn a bloody shooting game's monsters into cancer cells. We taught users that the worst battle was not in space; it could exist in their bodies when leukemia attacks.

I love this idea because it was transgressive for its time. Fortunately, I had an NGO, Cris Cancer Foundation, that supported it from minute one. Best of all, it's still active in changing perceptions for millions of people globally.

A recent project you're proud of.

Definitely “Impulse."

"Impulse" offers a solution to a problem that affects more than 100 million people: speech disorders. An app allows people to have an invisible speech therapist on their wrist—one that can be used as a digital speech trainer. It also offers ongoing personalized exercises. It's an idea that took almost a year of development and more than a dozen medical experts from four continents worked to make it accessible for everyone.

One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about.

Today more than ever, health is the creative area with the most possibilities for growth. From being a branch of advertising reviled decades ago, it has become the only place where new paths be explored to provide tangible solutions.

Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

I really liked the idea of Aizome's "Wastecare," certifying industrial waste as skincare. For me, it takes the health category to another level. Not only because it calls attention to an increasingly less transparent textile industry, but it also demonstrates an innovative idea that reinforces environmental commitment. 

A book, movie, TV show, or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Book: Atomic Habits by James Clear. It's a powerful tool to banish something that we experience a lot of in this profession: our obsession with goals.

Movie: Poor Things. It left me amazed in my seat at the theater. Yorgos Lanthimos is a cut above with all his retro-surrealism. It reminded me of Big Fish. Wonderful.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Musician: Stromae, a Belgian artist. His music is like a mix of rhythms, cultures and aesthetics with an emphasis on mental health. When you hear him for the first time it disconcerts you—but you love it. The second time, you can't stop hearing it in your head. In 2016 he retired due to depression but returned in 2022 with an album speaking openly about the hell he experienced during those years. 

Your favorite fictional character.

Cosmo Kramer. (But really all four main characters in Seinfeld.) 

Someone worth following on social media.

I love @Thefeed.global from We are Social on Instagram. All social trends in the photo carousel are super useful to discover.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.


Your biggest weakness.

Impostor Syndrome. It's an epidemic in the world of advertising that I believe no one is immune from.

Something people would find surprising about you.

When I was 13 years old, I died—medically—for a few minutes when I fell unconscious after hitting my head on the ground from a bicycle fall. After those minutes I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was my father's face. He was very angry because of the scare I gave him.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in health.

Something related to social issues.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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